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WASHINGTON President Donald Trump will nominate
Washington lawyer Noel Francisco to be solicitor general, the
government’s top advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court, the
White House said on Tuesday.
Francisco, who has been serving in an acting capacity in the
job, is a lawyer with strong conservative credentials who
previously worked at the Jones Day law firm.
White House Counsel Don McGahn is one of several other Jones
Day lawyers who have joined the administration.
Francisco has argued three high-profile cases at the Supreme
Most recently, he represented former Virginia Republican Governor Robert McDonnell in a successful attempt to throw out
corruption convictions. The court in June ruled 8-0 in favor of
In another case decided last year, he represented religious
nonprofits that sought an exemption from a provision of the
Obamacare healthcare law that requires employers to provide
female workers with health insurance that includes contraception
coverage. The high court in May sidestepped a major ruling in
that case by sending it back to a lower court.
In the third case, Francisco led a business-led challenge to
presidential appointment powers, resulting in a 2014 ruling that
limited the ability of the White House to fill positions without
Francisco served as a White House lawyer from 2001 to 2003
and spent another two years in the Justice Department’s Office
of Legal Counsel from 2003 to 2005. Both jobs were during the
administration of Republican President George W. Bush. He
clerked for conservative Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme
Court. (Additional reporting by Eric Beech)
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